Building at former London Psychiatric Hospital goes up in flames

Crews fight a blaze at the former psychiatric hospital on Highbury Avenue North. Photo courtesy of London Fire Department via Twitter.

The London Fire Department responded Saturday evening to a blaze at the former London Psychiatric Hospital at 850 Highbury Avenue North.

Just after 6 p.m., firefighters were on the scene in “defensive strategy,” applying water from the exterior.

The fire service said tankers were deployed to assist crews with water supply.

From the images shared by the London Fire Department via Twitter, it appears the fire broke out at the Chapel of Hope on the historic property.

The fire department provided an update at 6:49 p.m. describing the state of the situation. They said the roof of the building collapsed, and an excavator had been contacted to help in pulling the burning structure apart.

The fire was contained on Saturday evening, but crews remained on the scene overnight to continue monitoring the situation.

No firefighters were injured while responding to the incident and no other injuries have been reported at this time, however, the premises has not been fully investigated.

A spokesperson from the London Fire Department explained that the structure sustained significant damage and was deemed unsafe to enter.

Since the former psychiatric hospital is a heritage building, the investigation will be held off until city engineers and representatives from the heritage society have a chance to discuss the next steps.

This dialogue is likely to happen on Monday, the fire department confirmed.